I’ve been learning a lot lately about real food and how good it is for you to eat less processed junk. I’ve actually been working on eating more real food for the last 4 years or so and have lost about 15 lbs, not really trying, but rather just eating less processed junk.
My journey started with a combination of watching “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and “Food, Inc.”. I was disturbed by how food is being made these day, and I started shopping more at the farmer’s market near my house. Then, I took a online cooking class on how to cook real food on http://www.nourishedkitchen.com which is now one of my favorite sites for delicious, healthy, real food recipes! I learn lots of good stuff from Jenny and have gotten fun links to other sites from there.
I’ve been done a lot of reading. From Jenny’s site, I read a lot about the Weston A. Price Foundation (http://www.westonaprice.org) and I also recently really enjoying reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” where she and her family decided to only eat local foods and what they could grow/raise for one year. It was really inspiring and full of great recipes!
I really recommend you read more about it, because I’ve really enjoyed learning how to cook healthy and from scratch and have been having lots of fun with changing my lifestyle! But, in case you don’t like to do research and prefer reading a short post instead, here’s the gist:
1. Stay away from processed food – start reading the labels on stuff. If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t eat it! When I took the real food cooking class, they said to avoid eating/cooking with anything that has more than one or two ingredients.
2. Eat locally – the more you know where your food comes from (and who grew or raised it) the better off you will be. I have formed nice relationships with the farmers where I have a cow share and “The Egg Lady” and the guy who sells jalapeno cheese at the farmer’s market. The more I learn about commercial meat and vegetable and fruit companies, the more I am afraid of them. Just think about it this way, a humongous company that has thousands of acres of vegetables (or animals) doesn’t care if a few of them are ruined or die because they don’t take good care of them, but a local farmer who only has a few acres or a few animals is going to treat them better because that’s all they’ve got. And, big companies can blame stuff on other people, but one local farmer who sells bad stuff is going to get a name for himself quick and lose business, so he has more motivation to sell good products. To find out where local food is sold near you, check out: http://www.localharvest.org/
3. Grow your own stuff – even if it’s just some basil or parsley. The fresher it is, the better it is for you and the more nutrients are still in the veggies.
4. Cook from scratch with good ingredients – I’ve learned how to make yogurt, ricotta and mozzarella cheese (http://www.cheesemaking.com), marinara sauce, bread, pickled beets, tortillas, soups, and many other delicious items!
5. Avoid certain foods – stay away from soy (the more I read about it, the scarier it is…heads up, if you’re a guy, it could mess with your hormones and lead to feminization!), trans fats and vegetable oils, corn syrup, meat or milk with hormones or other fake stuff added to it, vegetables and fruits that are out of season (who knows where they are coming from, what they had to go through to get to where you are, and what they had to spray them with to keep them fresh), canned foods, and fake sugar and white sugar (try honey, molasses, raw sugar), and finally, anything that is genetically-modified (GMO).
6. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables – they are really good for you!!! Eat more of them and learn how to cook with them! Real vitamins and nutrients from plants are way better than the fake stuff they add to make processed foods better for you or the stuff that comes in a pill or a shake.
7. Don’t be afraid of fats – but make sure you are eating real fats. Real fats = coconut oil, real butter, bacon grease, olive oil, avocados, and meats. Anything in fast food restaurants and take-out (pizza, chinese, etc.) restaurants and most other restaurants use fats and other processed stuff that you should avoid. How to avoid this? Cook at home! You’ll save money and be healthier!
I hope you find this helpful! For more information, check out these sites: